Volkswagen is building swanky new digs on New York City's west side for its VW and Audi brands. The automaker has purchased a 256,000 square foot space currently occupied by Potamkin GM (the Potamkin family has been synonymous with car sales in NY for decades), which stretches between 55th and 56th Street along 11th Avenue.
Visually unimpressive in its current state, the space will be converted into a state-of-the-art mega facility featuring brand-new Volkswagen and Audi stores. VW's total outlay for the real estate purchase and ensuing renovation will be around $125 million. The splashy move is part of the automaker's push to dramatically increase its U.S. sales numbers over the next several years. Potamkin GM will relocate a few blocks south to the space once occupied by Potamkin Honda (the family has sold its Honda franchise to another dealer group). Official press release after the jump.
Volkswagen Group of America Invests $125 Million for New Dealer Storefronts in New York City
Flagship Audi and Volkswagen dealerships reinforce commitment to U.S. market
Herndon, Va. (Nov. 12, 2009) – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. announced today that it is investing in flagship Audi and Volkswagen dealerships in New York City, as part of its strategic plan to grow business in the U.S. market. The $125 million deal is for the 265,000 square-foot building formerly housing Potamkin General Motors. The building is strategically sited in the highest traffic area of 11th Ave., making it a convenient location for Volkswagen and Audi customers.
"As Volkswagen and Audi move forward on our aggressive plan to increase sales in the U.S., there is no better place to demonstrate our commitment than in Manhattan – a town synonymous for bold actions and big thinking," Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "New York has always been a leading market for the Volkswagen and Audi brands, and these new store fronts will serve to strengthen our business even more. We are proud to be investing in the New York economy, excited to showcase our brands and look forward to seeing more Volkswagens and Audis on the streets of New York."
The new dealerships will showcase Volkswagen and Audi's new showroom concepts, known respectively as "white frame" and "terminal." The dealerships will be part of one of the largest and most prestigious dealers in the area, the Open Road Auto Group. The Group will target to begin selling vehicles in early 2010. Full renovations for the Volkswagen dealership are expected to be complete in the spring. The Audi transition will take place at the end of 2011.
About Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, the world's third largest automaker and the largest carmaker in Europe. It houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of distinguished and exciting brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen, as well as VW Credit, Inc. Founded in 1955, the company's headquarters are in Herndon, Va.
Volkswagen Group of America brings to the U.S. vehicles that marry the science of engineering and the art of styling, with the goal of offering attractive, safe, and environmentally sound automobiles that are competitive and set world standards in their respective classes.
The company has approximately 2,500 employees in the United States and sells its vehicles through an 800-strong dealer network. With increasing popularity for its brands in the U.S., the company has set the goal of reaching one million car sales in the country by 2018.
For more information, please visit www.volkswagengroupamerica.com.